A symbolic groundbreaking Tuesday at the Animal Defense League set the stage for what the director of Animal Care Services called "the final jewel in the crown of no-kill."
Kathy Davis said three city-funded kennels, including one for puppies, will be built at ADL on Nacogdoches Road, housing 151 dogs.
Davis said any cats brought from ACS will be kept in ADL's existing cattery.
She said the kennels are funded by $2.2 million in bond money approved by voters.
Although ACS takes in 30,000 unwanted pets annually, Davis said January's live release rate was more than 80 percent.
"Obviously we're close to getting to no-kill, but we need just a little bit more and that is what ADL does for us," Davis said.
Janice Darling, ADL executive director, said in return the ACS dogs and cats will have longer opportunities to be adopted.
She said the Animal Defense League is the city's oldest "true" no-kill shelter, established in 1934.
"It means we're going to be able to save almost 3,200 more animals annually," Darling said.
She said the kennels should be ready in November or the end of December at the latest.